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Ohio Utica Shale

New anti-fracking books are popping up

By Bob Downing Published: December 28, 2012

From the Marcellus Drilling News, a pro-drilling source:

The anti-drillers are having a heyday—when it comes to writing new books. First was The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone by Seamus McGraw, garnering high praise from Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and Tom Brokaw. Then came Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale by former Gannett reporter Tom Wilbur.

There’s now more anti-fracking books flowing than natural gas. There’s even an anti-fracking book for kids, written (appropriately) by a 12-year-old:


A vacation to the Amazon takes an odd turn when a gecko introduces young Rick to the Amazonian Gecko King. The latter confers a combination of gecko and snail powers upon the boy, allowing him to fight environmental destruction back home in the US.

The brainchild of a child, “Geckoboy: The Battle of Fracking, Volume 1,” was written by 12-year-old California native and founder of the non-profit Green Kids Now, Pavan Raj Gowda.

“When I was watching the news with my parents I heard a lot about fracking and I did more research and found that it’s a very big problem. So in order to educate more people I thought I would write a book about it,” he told DW.

Geckoboy came hot off the heels of Inadvertant Disclosure, a Grisham-esque thriller by attorney Melissa F. Miller involving the untimely death of a judge in a town ripped apart – both emotionally and geologically – by hydrological fracturing.

Next, “The Last Canary” by R. Bruce Walker examined “the energy play of the century – five hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas trapped within sixty million invisible acres from upstate New York to West Virginia.” His book was followed by “Henry’s Law,” published either coincidentally or symbolically on July 4, and a week later by “Fracking Goats,” in which the fracking takes place in the Karoo region of South Africa.

Adding a touch of spice to the issue was the September release of “Fracking Up” by English expat and Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network website editor Tanya Jones. Her teaser entices:

“As Jenny would be the first to admit, she’s not so much a Friend of the Earth, more a friend of the duvet. But when the controversial gas drilling technique of fracking comes to her adopted island, it’s time to struggle to her feet and be counted. And then activism’s so much more fun when there’s a six-foot hunk of gorgeous Aussie to do it with.”*

Do you get the sense that anti-frackers haven’t been this energized, this invested, this worked up about a “cause” since Viet Nam? Being against something—especially without knowing the facts—gives their lives meaning and purpose. They live to visit protest rallies and meet conspiratorially at coffee shops to talk about how the evil oil and gas corporations (and the use of evil fossil fuels) are killing Mother Earth. Stereotypical? Unfairly prejudicial? Perhaps. But more true than not. As MDN has often observed, many fracking protesters are hippie retreads or hippie wannabes.

Look for more anti-fracking books, and movies, and poorly performed songs before the anti-frackers give it up a few years from now—once the environmental holocaust they predict doesn’t materialize.

*Bonn (Germany) Deutsche Welle (Dec 27, 2012) – There will be fracking – at least in the arts



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.